November 18 in Schoenstatt – A Day of Covenant Joy
Father Kentenich's Birthday Celebrated
(mkf) As on each 18th of the month, Schoenstatt members and friends all over the world united to celebrate Schoenstatt's origin, center and source of life: the Covenant of Love, first sealed on October 18, 1914, in the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt. November 18 was an especially joyful day with the erection of a new Schoenstatt Shrine in Puerto Montt, Chile, and the celebration of Father Kentenich's birthday.
On this Covenant Day, a new Schoenstatt Shrine – the 10th in this Year of Grace – was dedicated in Puerto Montt, Chile. In Schoenstatt during the Covenant celebration in the Adoration Church, all united spiritually with the Schoenstatt family in Puerto Montt on this special day before they renewed the Covenant of Love – consciously representing the entire international Schoenstatt Movement. It was already dark when the Covenant Celebration in Schoenstatt began. Some of the Schoenstatt mothers from the Würzburg Diocese, who took part in a weekend retreat in House Marienland, took flashlights along to light the way from House Marienland! Other Schoenstatt mothers – in Desierto, Arizona, USA – celebrated
Covenant Day beginning with a Holy Mass at 8:00 AM. Afterwards, they met in the Home Shrine of one of them to read and share a text from Father and then continued with birthday cake, ice cream, and birthday songs for Father Kentenich!
Pilgrim Shrines on the Altar in the Adoration Church
Like the Schoenstatt mothers in Desierto, all over the world, Schoenstatt members got together to celebrate the Covenant of Love; forty people went to the recently dedicated Shrine in Irinjalakuda to celebrate the first Covenant Day with a Shrine. They prayed the rosary in gratitude and joy. In Bangalore, India, many more people than were expected joined in the Holy Mass on the first Covenant Day after the Crowning of the MTA picture in the Shrine. "It's like a miracle," one of the Sisters said. A candlelight procession was made to the Shrine, and all wanted to get in. Inside the crowded Shrine, one lady's sari caught on fire. "The Blessed Mother really cared," shared one of those who had been inside. "No panic. A man quickly reacted; and although the lady's sari was almost totally consumed by the flames, she was not hurt!"
In Schoenstatt, Father Beller greeted all those who had come from the area and the different houses in Schoenstatt, especially the 70 mothers from Würzburg, the leaders of the League of Academics who had just found their new year's motto, and a group from the Men's Federation. Schoenstatt Sisters, a Lady of Schoenstatt, and girls from the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth provided songs and music. Two Pilgrim Shrines – one from Brazil and one from Germany – stood on the altar; there were also 100 MTA pictures for future Pilgrim Shrines for Italy.
The Best Birthday Gift
In his sermon, Father Beller pointed to Father Kentenich's birthday: "We feel inspired to give a gift to him. But what can we give to him. What do you give to a saint in heaven? We know he had one matter of concern throughout his entire life. He wanted the Blessed Mother to be known and to be loved, and we wanted to inspire people to give themselves to her. The biggest joy for him was when someone gave a gift to the person he loved most, to Mary. We know that ourselves. If someone does something good to those we love, to those who are entrusted to our care, we see that as a gift and a cause of joy. And we cause joy for Father Kentenich when we focus on Mary." Father Beller, who had recently returned from the International Congress on the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in Santa Maria, Brazil, then
shared about João Pozzobon's love for Mary, for Schoenstatt, and for Father Kentenich.: "This simple man started a campaign that now reaches out to people in over 80 countries." Father Beller spoke about João Pozzobon's ideal - Fighter for the MTA's realm - and his striving and sacrifices for Schoenstatt and Father Kentenich. He did all he could to spread the realm of the MTA, the Pilgrim Mother. Father Beller then mentioned the growth of the Pilgrim MTA Campaign in Germany. "People carry our MTA to others, and this is a joy for Father Kentenich. What will we give to him today on his birthday? Would you like to say a good word about the Blessed Mother to someone today or tomorrow? It's different - to pray good words about her in a prayer service, words written on a holy picture or in a brochure, and to say a good word about her to someone else, to a fellow Schoenstatter or whoever. Try it! Well, you could also start a Pilgrim Shrine circle, but that needs a little bit more effort. So just try and say a good word about the Blessed Mother to someone as a gift for our Founder!"
Father Kentenich's birthday was celebrated today all over the world! In Guayaquil, Ecuador, members of various Schoenstatt groups and branches joined in preparing a "Cantata" for the MTA and Father Kentenich. A Schoenstatt member from Argentina created a home page where Schoenstatters could write a birthday letter to Father Kentenich. To join in the celebration of Father Kentenich's birthday by the Shrine, approximately 19 busloads of pilgrims came to Atibaia, Brazil, and at least 92 busloads came on Sunday.
"Capital of Grace" - Giving a Sense to Everything
During the Covenant renewal in Schoenstatt, all were encouraged to write down their contributions to the Capital of Grace. Then, all renewed the Covenant of Love. Outside, the Covenant fire was lighted, and some joyful songs resounded. The slips of paper with the contribution to the Capital of Grace were burned – among them also those that had been written in the morning by 45 Polish people from Aachen and Düren, who had come to Schoenstatt with the priest in charge of the Polish mission. Three Pilgrim Mothers are travelling to Polish families in this area. After Holy Mass in the Adoration Church, all went to the Founder Chapel and prayed there for Father Kentenich's canonization. A number of Pilgrim Shrines stood on the sarcophagus – soon to be sent out to new places in Germany. The Polish pilgrims also visited the Original Shrine. "We heard that here the Blessed Mother offers the grace of finding a home. This is a special gift for us who have left our home and struggle to find a new home here in Germany."
The Schoenstatt Mothers from Würzburg lighted candles by the Covenant fire and made a candlelight procession to the Shrine at Marienland to continue the celebration there. Lights of joy and hope spreading from the Covenant fire – an inspiring perspective on this November Covenant Day.
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
Letzte Aktualisierung: 24.11.2000 16:38 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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